“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?'”
This question of the Lord brought out Peter’s greater confession of Christ.
Why is it important for us to answer this question today?
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The Bible says, “with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” That is two things, not one. The first is made with the heart and the second is made with the mouth. Where does that leave the “faith only” folks? It leaves them begging. The next verse continues, “for the scriptures says, whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” In other words, believing involves more than one’s mental or heart choice, it also involves confessing. Confession is part of “believe and you will be saved.” But not only that, a verse or two later, we learn “calling on the Lord” is also involved. Thus, faith involves more than just “faith alone”; it involves actions that must follow is salvation is to be realized. This is Just-A-Minute.
The apostle Paul wrote, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. Was Paul right or are “faith only” folks right? They can’t be both right! How so? The “faith onlys” say that one is saved at the moment you believe; that is before one has confessed his faith. But the apostle says confession is still “unto” or “towards” salvation. Furthermore, a few verses later, Paul mentions, “they have not all obeyed the gospel.” In another place he said that God will punish those “who do not know God, and those who do not obey the gospel”. Where does this leave the “faith onlys”? It leaves them wanting! If God is going to punish those who obey not the gospel, then I choose to “confess unto salvation” and “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins”. It may not be the most popular, but it is the most sure. This is Just-A-Minute.
Many people who plan to be saved at the eleventh hour, die at 10:30. It is true, there are many who plan to sin until time to die then cry softly and with feeling, “Lord, Lord, save me!” But if you read Matt. 7:21, you will find the Lord saying, “Not everyone that sayeth unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Do you know where to find the will of God? In the Word of God! How long has it been since you read the New Testament? How long has it been since you read it to take a spiritual inventory, to see if what you have done and are doing to please God is in the Bible? This is Just-a-Minute
The scripture for today, April 23, is Mark 4:23 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Some of us read a passage in the Bible and say, “I know it says that, but it doesn’t mean that.” We just don’t want to hear it.
It’s hard to admit we are wrong, isn’t it? It’s human nature. And in the realm of religion, it is even harder because we’re talking about our eternal soul. So reading that we’re supposed to be doing or not doing something that we’ve never followed before is like being on a bridge over a roaring river, and suddenly realizing the bridge is breaking and we are not as safe as we thought we were. Let us take our human egos out of the way. Continue reading
Often times, in relation to the sins that we commit, it is easy to find ourselves offering an excuse, or even rationalizing the sins that we have committed against God, our self and others. But the Lord isn’t looking for an excuse, an explanation or a personal justification when it comes to our sin. He’s waiting for a confession. There’s nothing that we can add that He doesn’t already know. There’s nothing that we can diminish that He won’t be aware of. To be made clean – we must come clean.
As one surveys the word of God there are individuals who stand out Goliath-high amongst the rest. At the risk of leaving many people out, there is, not specifically in order, Seth, Enoch, Job, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Amran, Jochebed, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Samson, Samuel, Nathan, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Asa, Hezekiah, Josiah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Nehemiah, Zacharias, Elizabeth, John the Baptizer, Joseph, Mary, Simeon, Anna, Peter, James, John, Thomas, Paul, and Apollos. And in the words of Hebrews 11:32, time would fail me to mention the names of others who are worthy of such consideration. And what causes these individuals to stand out amongst all of the people that we read about in the Bible? It wasn’t because they were perfect! It was because they were willing to confess their imperfections – they were aware of their own sinful shortcomings in the face of a righteous and eternal God.
Being human isn’t necessarily an excuse for the wrongs that we commit, but thanks be to God for His mindfulness of our human frailties. And with that thought in mind, when it comes to confessing our sin, what are waiting for?
“Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”” (Luke 18:9-14)